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Hangovers: Why you get them and how to fight them off – CNN

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More commonly known as a hangover, this unpleasant phenomenon has been dogging humanity since our ancestors first happened upon fermentation.
Those nasty vertigo-inducing, cold sweat-promoting and vomit-producing sensations after a raucous night out are all part of your body’s attempt to protect itself from injury after you overindulge in alcoholic beverages.
Your liver is working to break down the alcohol you consumed so your kidneys can clear it out ASAP. But in the process, your body’s inflammatory and metabolic reactions are going to lay you low with a hangover.
As long as people have suffered from hangovers, they’ve searched in vain for a cure. Revelers have access to a variety of compounds, products and devices that purport to ease the pain.
But there’s a lot of purporting and not a lot of proof. Most have not been backed up well by science in terms of usefulness for hangover treatment, and often their effects don’t seem like they’d match up with what scientists know about the biology of the hangover.

Working overtime to clear out the booze

Hangovers are virtually guaranteed when you drink too much. That amount varies from person to person based on genetic factors as well as whether there are other compounds that formed along with ethanol in the fermentation process.
Over the course of a night of heavy drinking, your blood alcohol level continues to rise. Your body labors to break down the alcohol — consumed as ethanol in beer, wine or spirits — forming damaging oxygen free radicals and acetaldehyde, itself a harmful compound. The longer ethanol and acetaldehyde stick around, the more damage they can do to your cellular membranes, proteins and DNA, so your body’s enzymes work quickly to metabolize acetaldehyde to a less toxic compound, acetate.
The morning after: What people around the world eat and drink to beat a hangover and where to order it
Over time, your ethanol levels drop through this natural metabolic process. Depending on how much you consumed, you’re likely to experience a hangover as the level of ethanol in your blood slowly returns to zero. Your body is withdrawing from high levels of circulating alcohol, while at the same time trying to protect itself from the effects of alcohol.
Scientists have limited knowledge of the leading causes of the hangover. But they do know that the body’s responses include changes in hormone levels to reduce dehydration and cellular stress. Alcohol consumption also affects a variety of neurotransmitter systems in the brain, including glutamate, dopamine and serotonin. Inflammation increases in the body’s tissues, and the healthy gut bacteria in your digestive system take a hit too, promoting leaky gut.
Altogether, the combination of all these reactions and protective mechanisms activated by your system gives rise to the experience of a hangover, which can last up to 48 hours.

Your misery likely has company

Drinking and socializing are cultural acts, and most hangovers do not happen in isolation. Human beings are social creatures, and there’s a high likelihood that at least one other individual feels the same as you the morning after the night before.
Each society has different rules regarding alcohol use, which can affect how people view alcohol consumption within those cultures. Drinking is often valued for its relaxing effect and for promoting sociability. So it’s common to see alcohol provided at celebratory events, social gatherings and holiday parties.
In the United States, drinking alcohol is largely embraced by mainstream culture, which may even promote behaviors involving excessive drinking. It should be no surprise that overindulgence goes hand in hand with these celebratory social events — and leads to hangover regrets a few hours later.
What to eat to beat a hangoverWhat to eat to beat a hangover
Your body’s reactions to high alcohol intake and the sobering-up period can influence mood, too. The combination of fatigue that you experience from sleep deprivation and hormonal stress reactions, in turn, affect your neurobiological responses and behavior. As your body is attempting to repair itself, you’re more likely to be easily irritated, exhausted and want nothing more than to be left alone. Of course, your work productivity takes a dramatic hit the day after an evening of heavy drinking.
When all is said and done, you’re the cause of your own hangover pain, and you’re the one who must pay for all the fun of the night before. But in short order, you’ll forget how excruciating your last hangover was. And you may very soon talk yourself into doing the things you swore you’d never do again.

Speeding up recovery

While pharmacologists like us understand a bit about how hangovers work, we still lack a true remedy.
Countless articles describe a variety of foods, caffeine, ion replenishment, energy drinks, herbal supplements including thyme and ginger, vitamins and the “hair of the dog” as ways to prevent and treat hangovers. But the evidence isn’t really there that any of these work effectively. They’re just not scientifically validated or well reproduced.
For example, Kudzu root (Pueraria lobata), a popular choice for hangover remedies, has primarily been investigated for its effects in reducing alcohol-mediated stress and hangover. But at the same time, Kudzu root appears to inhibit the enzymes that break down acetaldehyde — not good news since you want to clear that acetaldehyde from your system quickly.
Lyaness: How the world's best bar reinvented itselfLyaness: How the world's best bar reinvented itself
To fill this knowledge gap, our lab is working with colleagues to see if we can find scientific evidence for or against potential hangover remedies. We’ve focused on the benefits of dihydromyricetin, a Chinese herbal medicine that is currently available and formulated as a dietary supplement for hangover reduction or prevention.
Dihydromyricetin appears to work its magic by enhancing alcohol metabolism and reducing its toxic byproduct, acetaldehyde. From our findings in mice models, we are collecting data that support the usefulness of dihydromyricetin in increasing the expression and activity of enzymes responsible for ethanol and acetaldehyde metabolism in the liver, where ethanol is primarily broken down. These findings explain one of the several ways dihydromyricetin protects the body against alcohol stress and hangover symptoms.
We are also studying how this enhancement of alcohol metabolism results in changes in alcohol drinking behaviors. Previously, dihydromyricetin was found to counteract the relaxation affect of drinking alcohol by interfering with particular neuroreceptors in the brain; rodents didn’t become as intoxicated and consequently reduced their ethanol intake. Through this combination of mechanisms, we hope to illustrate how DHM might reduce the downsides of excessive drinking beyond the temporary hangover, and potentially reduce drinking behavior and damage associated with heavy alcohol consumption.
Of course, limiting alcohol intake and substituting water for many of those drinks during an evening out is probably the best method to avoid a painful hangover. However, for those times when one alcoholic beverage leads to more than a few more, be sure to stay hydrated and catch up on rest. Your best bet for a smoother recovery is probably some combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen, Netflix and a little downtime.
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Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents – Port Alberni Valley News – Alberni Valley News

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Thousands more seniors are set to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine over the coming month at 19 clinics on Vancouver Island.

Island Health announced today, March 7, more details of its regional plan to support the next phase of B.C.’s immunization program.

The health authority identified the locations of 19 community clinics from Sooke to Port Hardy. The list of clinic locations can be found at this link.

Half a dozen clinics on the Island are classified as “mass” clinics able to accommodate 15-20 people at a time, with up to 12 immunizations per station per hour, said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s vice-president of pandemic planning, during a press conference. Mass clinics will be located at Parksville Community Centre, Beban Park in Nanaimo, the Cowichan Community Centre gym in Duncan, Eagle Ridge Arena in Langford, the Archie Browing Sports Centre in Esquimalt and the University of Victoria’s McKinnon Gym.

Registration starts Monday, March 8, for non-Indigenous people age 90 and over and Indigenous elders 65 and over, and vaccine appointments will begin March 15. To make an appointment, an eligible person or someone calling on their behalf should call 1-833-348-4787 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Call centre operators will ask for legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number, phone number and an e-mail address.

Individuals 85 and over can start calling March 15 to make appointments for the week starting March 22. Island Health hopes to have all elderly seniors aged 80-plus immunized by April 12.

“The more we can do to make this a successful launch, the quicker we can get through populations and the quicker we’re back to having beers on the patio over the summer,” Schmid said.

She said Island Health anticipates having “more than enough supply” of vaccine doses and is expecting to receive close to 25,000 doses per week by the end of this month.

“We will just continue to see more and more supply in this phase, which is such a good news story for our population,” she said.

Island Health, in the release, said the opening of the community clinics will “continue to build on a successful vaccination program” that has delivered more than 60,000 doses so far to seniors in long-term care and assisted living, health-care workers and members of First Nations communities.

Island Health said its teams have “done a lot of planning and have prepared for a number of contingencies, and appreciate patience and the “continued kindness” that has been shown to health-care workers.

“This is the largest immunization rollout any of us has experienced, and it will not be without challenges,” the release concluded. “We will get through those challenges together, as we move closer to a time when we can be together with our loved ones and friends once again.”

There are about 30 small and remote communities on Vancouver Island that do not have immunization clinics among the 19 locations on the list. Residents in those communities “will be vaccinated in a whole-of-community approach,” the health authority said, which may involve one- or two-day immunization clinics.

READ ALSO: Vaccines coming, B.C. seniors need to be ready, premier says

READ ALSO: Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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Northern Health vaccine clinics open tomorrow: what to know – My PG Now

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Northern Health plans to administer nearly 15-thousand COVID-19 vaccine doses between March 15 and April 10 — that goal starts tomorrow (Monday).

As capacity expands, several mass clinics are expected to open later in April.

Seniors aged 90 and older and Indigenous people aged 65 and older will be allowed to start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Northern Health CEO Cathy Ulrich says more than 30 vaccine clinic locations will be opening across the region.

The call centre will operate from 7 am to 7 pm PST, seven days a week, and clinic locations will be confirmed at the time of booking.

“We are a little different than the larger areas in the province, with the exception of Prince George, where we won’t likely be keeping immunization sights open for the entire four weeks,” said Ulrich.

“We’ll be doing more of a pop-up clinic for a few days.”

Following that, a catch up is planned for any individuals who might have been missed.

“Northern Health continues to work in partnership with First Nations Health Authority, Métis Nation British Columbia, Friendship Centres and other community organizations, to ensure COVID-19 immunization clinics will have cultural supports available for those who self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) individuals,” she added.

Vaccine appointment call centres expect to have high call volumes in the coming days and weeks.

“If it’s not your turn yet, please do not call in to book an appointment,” said Ulrich.

“Nobody will miss the chance to the get the vaccine when a new phase starts. Once you become eligible you are always elligible.”

Northern Health also encourages reaching out to family, friends and neighbours to see if they need help booking an appointment.

For more information, what you should have ready, and step-by-step instructions on how to call to book an appointment for yourself, for a family member, for a friend or neighbour, please visit the BC Seniors First website.

The full list of clinic locations is available on the Northern Health COVID-19 Vaccine Plan web page.

Northern Health Vaccine Clinic Locations (Click to enlarge)

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Three COVID-19 vaccination clinics to open in the Central Okanagan – Lake Country Calendar – Lake Country Calendar

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Three COVID-19 vaccination clinics are set to open in the next few weeks in the Central Okanagan.

The first, at Kelowna’s Trinity Church, will open on March 15 and will operate seven days a week. Another will open once a week at Kelowna Health Services Centre beginning March 17, and a West Kelowna clinic will open in a to-be-determined location on March 22. The three are among 48 set to open over the next few weeks across Interior Health. A full list of clinics is available on the health authority’s website.

To prevent a system overload, the health authority will be booking appointments with a staggered approach.

Beginning Monday (March 8), seniors over 90 and Indigenous people over 65 can book an appointment for their first dose of the vaccine through Interior Health’s call centre (1-877-740-7747). On March 15, that will expand to those over 85 and on March 22 to those over 80. The call centre will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

After a person becomes eligible for the vaccine, they can book an appointment anytime. People looking to book an appointment can do so themselves or have another person book the appointment on their behalf.

Callers are asked to have on hand their legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number and current contact information, including a regularly-checked email address for booking confirmation.

While the area currently only has three clinics planned, Interior Health said the locations would be adjusted according to need.

IH will contact individuals when their second dose is due, after about four months, allowing them to make another appointment.

Those who are vaccinated in the next few weeks will still need to follow currently in-place health orders. IH medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said in the coming months, he hopes visitation can increase.

“At this stage, the provincial health officer’s orders are still in place,” de Villiers said. “Even if you’ve got your vaccine, you should still follow all those orders.”

READ MORE: 48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

READ MORE: Canada’s chief of public health hopeful as Health Canada approves 4th vaccine

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
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